Friskies Cat Food Review

The Friskies brand of cat food is one of several pet food brands under the Purina label. Friskies offers a wide variety of cat food products including dry food, canned food, and treats. When it comes to the information provided about the brand on the company’s website, most of the information is limited to marketing claims regarding the flavor or texture of the products – little mention is made of the actual ingredients used to produce them or the quality of those ingredients. The main draw for Friskies cat food lies in the variety and the affordability of the products – if you are looking for a high-quality, natural pet food product you may want to look elsewhere.

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Who Manufactures Friskies Cat Food?

The Friskies brand of cat food is produced and manufactured by the Nestle Purina PetCare Company, a subsidiary of Nestle. The Friskies brand was first introduced in the early 1930s with a dry dog food product and the first canned dog food product came out in 1948. Friskies dry cat food was originally sold under the Carnation Company until it became known as Little Friskies in 1958. In 1982, the Carnation Company introduced the Fancy Feast brand. A few years later, in 1985, the Carnation Company was acquired by Nestle and the Friskies brand with it. The Nestle Purina PetCare Company was formed in 2001 when Nestle acquired the Ralston Purina Company, merging it with the pet food side of the Nestle Company. Today, the Nestle Purina PetCare Company manufactures a number of pet food brands including Alpo, Beneful, Fancy Feast, Purina Cat Chow, Purine ONE, Tidy Cats, and more.

Friskies Cat Food Recalls 2018

The Friskies brand of cat food was recalled voluntarily in June of 2011 due to concerns of possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria in the Friskies Grillers Blend dry cat food product. Numerous Purina brands have been affected by FDA recalls, though this is the only record of a recall affecting the Friskies brand in particular.

The Friskies brand has only been affected by one major recall to date, though it has been in trouble with the FDA in other ways. In 2014, the FDA issues a warning letter after conducting an inspection on Friskies products which revealed deviations from pet food regulations. This letter was issued for the Purina Pet Food canning facility which was responsible for producing numerous canned/moist pet food products including several Friskies products.

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Friskies Cat Food Coupons 2018

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Overall Friskies Cat Food Review

A review of the Friskies brand website reveals plenty of colorful pictures and clever marketing schemes at play. The website makes no mention of the quality of its ingredients and words like “natural” and “wholesome” do not make an appearance. Instead, Friskies plays up the variety of its pet food offerings as well as the different textures and flavors they have to offer. Friskies offers a limited number of dry cat food products but a large assortment of canned food options and pouches – they also offer several product lines for cat treats.

Individual Recipe Review (Dry) Friskies Indoor Delights Dry Cat Food Formula

This Friskies Indoor Delights Dry Cat Food formula is marketed as a dry food formula specially designed for indoor cats. According to the Friskies website, this product is formulated to promote healthy weight and to reduce hairballs. The website also suggests that the product is designed to support strong, lean muscles with high-quality protein and healthy skin and coat promoted by essential fatty acids and zinc supplementation. There is also mention of antioxidant content and healthy vision supported by Taurine and Vitamin A. Unfortunately that is the extent of the information provided about this product aside from the ingredients list and the guaranteed analysis.

A review of the ingredients list for this Friskies Indoor Delights Dry Cat Food formula is very troubling. The first ingredient is ground yellow corn, followed by corn gluten meal. The fact that two carbohydrate sources are found at the top of the ingredients list for this product is concerning in and of itself, but it is even more troubling that they are corn-based ingredients. Corn, wheat, and soy ingredients offer very limited nutritional value for cats and they are also very likely to cause food allergies or sensitivities. Many mid-range pet food manufacturers use these kinds of ingredients to add bulk to their products while keeping production costs low.

The third ingredient on the list is a source of protein, but it does not appear to live up to the “high-quality protein” claim made in the nutritional information for this product. Chicken by-product meal does include animal-based proteins, but it comes mainly from the rendered parts of chicken carcasses as well as bones, offal, and undeveloped eggs – it may also include some feathers. The next ingredient, meat and bone meal, does not come with a definition so it is unclear what exactly goes into this product. Meat meal suggests some protein content, though the fact that the source is not named is very concerning. Bone meal is not a source of protein – it may be included here as a source of calcium.

There are two soy-based ingredients that are used in this Friskies Indoor Delights Dry Cat Food formula – soybean meal and soybean hulls. In most cases, soybean meal is used in pet food products as a source of protein. This might seem like a good thing but it is important to note that plant-based proteins are much less biologically valuable than animal-based proteins. Plant proteins are not complete proteins like animal proteins which means that they do not contain all of the essential amino acids that your cat needs. Soybean hulls are a byproduct of the process through which soybean oil is extracted from soybeans and it is included as a source of dietary fiber. Powdered cellulose, another source of dietary fiber, also appears later in the list. It is somewhat troubling to see both of these items since cats have a very limited need for dietary fiber, but the crude fiber content is still within the proper range at 5%.

The main source of fat included in this Friskies Indoor Delights Dry Cat Food formula seems to come from beef tallow. This type of fat is derived from the rendering of fat from meat trimmings, offal, and bone. While this is an animal-based fat, the quality is difficult to discern and many pet food experts believe that tallow is nutritionally unfit for pets. Salmon meal seems to be the only ingredient that might provide some healthy fat for your cat and it is also a high-quality source of protein. The problem is that it appears at the end of the list of ingredients before the nutritional supplements are listed. The rest of the ingredients list is made up of supplements, artificial colors, and various flavorings.

Overall, this Friskies Indoor Delights Dry Cat Food formula has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 30%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 9%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 5%
  • Moisture (Max) – 12%
  • Linoleic Acid (Min) – 1.5%
  • Arachidonic Acid (Min) – 0.03%
  • Calcium (Min) – 1.0%
  • Phosphorus (Min) – 0.8%
  • Zinc (Min) – 150 mg/kg
  • Selenium (Min) – 0.3 mg/kg
  • Vitamin E (Min) – 100 IU/kg
  • Taurine (Min) – 0.12%

This formula meets the AAFCO nutritional requirements for adult indoor cats. The Friskies website provides very little information about this product aside from the guaranteed analysis and the list of ingredients. Judging by the guaranteed analysis, this product could benefit from a little bit more protein and a little more fat. It is somewhat strange to see a moisture content above 10% in a dry cat food product, though the crude fiber content is at a decent level of 5%. The website does not provide calorie content or feeding recommendations for this product, though it can be assumed that this information appears on the actual label. It is important to note that while this product meets the minimum nutritional requirements for adult cats, the ingredients listed suggest that the overall quality of the product is fairly low.

Final Thoughts

If you consider the guaranteed analysis for this product on its own you might believe that this product offers a moderate degree of nutritional value for cats. The protein content could be a little higher, as could the fat content, but the fiber content is within the ideal range – this product also has a slightly higher moisture content than the average dry cat food. When you work your way through the ingredients list, however, you will find one red flag after another starting from the very beginning. The inclusion of one corn-based product, let alone two, is troubling enough but you will also find soy-based ingredients and a number of byproducts in this cat food. Salmon meal is the only quality ingredient listed and its value is largely cancelled out based on the fact that it appears so late in the list – it is unlikely to be present in any significant quantity. This product also includes a number of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Overall, it might meet your cat’s basic nutritional needs but it cannot be considered a source of high-quality or natural nutrition.

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is a freelance writer specializing in the subject of pet health and wellness. An avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate has a great deal of experience writing about all kinds of pets and all aspects of pet care. Her work has been featured on a number of pet websites and she is a regular columnist for Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine.

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33 comments

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  • Friskies Indoor Delights Dry Cat Food
    this is all the cats have been eating for their whole life,
    now they are throwing up a lot and one of them is loosing weight ,
    is there a problem with the food lately or what ?????
    Lot # NZ0800 738 847

    • My cats have also loved friskies indoor delights for years and now they are not eating it. They do have at least one other flavor to choose but this is the first time this hasn’t been their first choice. Has there been a change? My bag also has the NZ 0800 738 847 on it but I’m not sure what that number refers to.

    • I SUGGEST YOU STOP FEEDING FRISKIES IMMEDIATELY!!!!!

      PLEASE READ ALL THE REVIEWS HERE AND YOU WILL FIND THAT MANY OF OUR FURBABIES ARE GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING.

      I HAVE 13 KITTIES AT PRESENT AND FEED A COLONY OF KITTIES OUTSIDE. ALL MY CATS ARE THROWING UP & LOSING WEIGHT & DISPLAYING MANY OTHER SYMPTOMS!!!
      I HAVE EVEN LOST SOME OF MY KITTIES!! AFTER SPEAKING WITH OTHER CAT PARENTS AT PET STORES, TALKING TO FRIENDS WITH KITTIES AND READING SO MANY REVIEWS AT CAT SITES, I AM ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED IT IS FRISKIES BRAND MAKING OUR FURBABIES ILL.

      READ MY REVIEW UNDER JOYCE BIRR,.

      I AM A NURSE, HAVE RESCUED MAINLY CATS N KITTENS AT LEAST 300 + AND HAVE HAD MANY OF THEM LIVE WITH US OVER THE PAST 36 YEARS!!

      AFTER ALL MY EXPERIENCE I AM CONVINCED
      IT IS NOW A CRISIS WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR FURBABIES WITH THE FRISKIE FOOD!!!

      JOIN US AND BOYCOTT FRISKIES!!!!!

      I PRAY YOUR FURBABIES IMPROVE WITH CHANGING BRANDS.

    • Same here!! We’ve been using a few different flavors of Fiskies dry since our 5 yo Tom cat, Paws, was a kitten. He goes out in the yard a lot during the day in the warmer months but isn’t a fan of the cold so we typically choose the indoor delights flavor for the winter season to compensate for his lower activity level and help with hair ball control. I just bought another 3lb bag and after a day or so, I noticed he was eating less than usual . The next day, he vomited almost immediately after eating twice. I assumed it was a hair ball or maybe one of the kids had over fed him. I usually monitor his portions because he has been known to eat like a dog does, until the bowl is empty no matter how full it is. Yesterday morning, he began constantly and quite ADAMANTLY begging like his dish was empty . Yet, every time I checked, it wasn’t? So I’ve kept his servings to a tablespoon or so at a time hoping I could figure out the problem but now he is vomiting after every trip to his dish even if it’s only a bite or 2 ?!I picked him up see if I could find anything wrong, I almost immediately felt a hardness in his lower right abdomen , it seems almost rounded, firm, slightly distended and He doesn’t care for pressure on that side even when picking him up. I decided to look up what could cause these symptoms. I had only typed the words “my cat is throwing up “and Google immediately brought up 2017 Friskies indoor delights recall! I refill a container and throw out the bag so I don’t know the serial number that was on the bag. I obviously will get him different cat food first thing in the morning and never again will I naïvely trust a leading national brand of pet food ! How can Friskies continually get away with this!?!? Other than acting like I’m starving him to death, he doesn’t seem to be in distress . Do I wait to see if the symptoms persist with brand change or do I take him in?

  • Both my cats ate all the Indoor non pate canned food. All of a sudden they wouldn’t touch anything with turkey in it. Then one by one the other varieties fell by the wayside until the only one left was Saucy Seafood Bake with Garden Greens in Sauce.
    Now both cats are refusing to eat that one also. Has the recipe been changed?

    • I feed feral cats and they are hungry of course. non of them will eat the Friskies canned Turkey and giblets. what’s up. they used to eat it?

  • My kitten’s teeth broke after 3days eat friskies indoor delight, its really hard, can anyone tell is it normal? Coz whiskas, maxi, royal canin and someproduct which i tried before never that hard.
    I saw blood in my broken kitten’s teeth but my kitten still eat much food but i provide chicken and sometime fish or cow meat.

  • My cats have never had a problem eating Friskies canned cat food before. But the 2 yr. old female cat about 6 months ago started to refuse to eat some of her favorite ocean fish and tuna meals. She had always refused to eat the salmon varieties. One day after she had eaten a can with ocean fish, etc. she became extremely sick and puffed up with a very swollen face, jowls, and neck. She got lethargic and listless and looked like she was going to die!!! I was so upset. So I watched her carefully and only let her have the chicken flavors. It took weeks for her to get better. Then after 6 weeks I tried her on another ocean fish can of friskies and she immediately got very ill again , swollen face, two large swollen neck glands and listless/lethargic! Again I thought she was on deaths door. I tried the food again because I wasn’t sure what caused the reaction. WELL I know now it’s friskies… and most of the flavors are now making her sick if she eats them. I have had to discontinue feeding her any kind of friskies canned food because she refuses to touch any of it now. She knows it will make her deathly ill. I have now switched to IAMs brand cat food and she is doing ok. She still doesn’t like salmon and i’m afraid to let her eat any ocean fish food. But I want to make note here that I think there is something really wrong with the Friskies Brand Canned Cat Food of late, over the last 12 months and it was a significant change that the cats won’t eat it. My dad’s cat also started refusing the same food about 9 months ago too. Something has changed with the ingredients or type of ocean fishes they are using and also with other content. Very disappointed with this product.

    • Hello, my cats too is not eating the Friskies canned food. It even smell different. My 2 cats ate a fish one and within 5 minutes they both threw up. Now they won’t fish types. The only kind they’ll eat is the chicken. They will not touch any of the other kinds.

      Barbara has the company ever contacted you about your questions about the food?

      • My cat ate Friskies canned food fish type. She threw up in a couple of minutes. I opened another can also fish type. She ate. In the next day I came after work and my cat was laying down on the floor and has no reaction. She was absolutely sick. I am thinking that she has been poisoned by that canned food.
        I am very angry. I would feed manufacturers with that food.

  • I have been feeding my cats the Friskies pate and that’s all they have wanted- until now. They won’t touch it!! Something has changed in the recipe or something’s wrong with it. I’ve tried to find information on it and have yet to find anything! I am seeing a lot of people saying the same thing!!

    • I agree! My cats only eat canned Friskies but now certain ones they always ate have a different color to them and my one old boy pukes his gut up and worse every time. I quess it took me several vomit incidences to finally look up and am glad to see i am not alone…I am going to switch to different brand after 60 some years. I do not like the new labels either. Any knew news? There is a number on the can i am going to call….

  • I have “lots” of cats and have used Friskies for many years.
    I want to ask about the new labels on the cans.
    Personally, I do not like the new labels. I like arranging my catfood on a shelf, and these new labels all look alike. Especially for an older lady with some vision problems. Please go back to the old color labels. (purple for Turkey, etc.)

  • I was feeding my cat his food with his medicine. And I found PLASTIC in his food !! It was green, a little less than 1/2 ” long and about 1/8″ wide. I found it because I have to mix medicine in with his food. I order my cat and dog food from Chewy , (it’s not their fault) I contacted them, they are having their team investigate. I was also given a link to notify Purina. I was also given a refund. But that’s not the point ! Purina sent me an email, apologizing and saying they will mail me a postage paid label to mail them the can and plastic thing. However their salutation was only a name. No title, no phone number, no address. What Company does this ?? One out of the U.S. I bet !!!!

  • I have 11 cats and have always fed them Purina One dry food and a couple of tablespoons of Friskies Shreds wet food but I believe Purina did a change in the ingredients of the Shreds because it has a new label and gives my cats the runs, to the point that they are sick amd will not eat it. Any idea what they have done?

  • We rescued a stray from the adoption center not even a year ago. He had trouble keeping dry food down so we switched to friskies shreds. He would throw up so often and would not gain any weight. The vet didn’t know why he wasn’t gaining weight so I kept giving him the food. Unfortunately he passed away after having a strange episode as if he was coughing up a fur ball but couldn’t get it out. His tail got puffy and he stopped breathing. We recently rescued another kitten from freezing to death outside she was neglected for awhile only about 3-4 months old so I gave her some friskie shreds being unsure if she could eat dry food or not. Not even a week later she had some sort of the same episode and her tail got all puffy and I gave her CPR and rushed her to the er. They couldn’t pin point what was wrong only that her gums were mysteriously yellow but being so young it was unlikely she had liver disease. I couldn’t afford an over night stay for the blood work and they sent her home with me and she died the following morning after I stayed up all night with her having seizures. I’m 99.9% sure something is going on with this cat food!

    • This is terrifying & horrible! I’m so sorry for your losses! My girls, whom I adopted my girls 3.5 yrs. ago as kittens, have always eaten & loved Friskies cans of many varieties…turkey being a favorite. Suddenly my food-monger girl won’t eat anything but the salmon pate, the other tries to eat the can offered, but keeps looking at me, hesitant. I’m switching them to a different brand, probably Iams. Last summer I had to take them off their PurinaOne (again, raised on kitten then indoor adult formulas) as they were refusing that as well. They love the kibble Iams, so good-bye Friskies/Purina, I’m not risking my cat’s health!

    • My baby Dylan just passed away on Friday and he was in good health and fine Christmas eve. and got so incredibly I’ll over the holidays. They did do all the bloodwork, xrays, ultra sound, and urine analysis. At first, last friday they said he was extremely dehydrated and nothing in his stomach from not eating or pooping. I had thought he was constipated or had a bladder infection cause the night before he was in and out of his box straining to poop and trying over and over and wouldnt eat anything. Since he wasnt backed up and it was thought to be severe dehydration he was givin a fluids injection and anti-nasea shot. They wanted to do bloodwork to but couldn’t seem to restrain him and wanted to sedate him the next day to do it. I didn’t take him back there cause they did all animals and not just cats so I took him to an all cat place. Also that first visit they were having trouble restraining him then he came home and peed blood in the shower. So the all cats place couldn’t see him Sat. for bloodwork and had to wait till tues cause of the holiday. And told me to force feed him if he won’t eat. So we force fed him friskies prime filet cuts ckn and gravy. He been eating that since the end of Oct. A year ago I read many comments similar to the ones here about how sick it was making cats. So a year ago I stopped feeding it to him. He ate that food for about 10 years prior to switching to Sheba wet food.
      He was seeming dehydrated (hard sm. poops) in Oct. and only licking the gravy from the Sheba food and almost always eating crave dry food. So reluctenly we switched his wet food back to that friskies so he’d eat all of it and get more hydration. I wish I would of found this site before switching back to friskies again. In the only cats vets office on tues. they also determined he was severely dehydrated and lethargic. So they gave him fluids and bloodwork without having to sedate him thankfully. The next day we started iv fluids and the bloodwork came back, just not the urine test,(I wish it had cause he had Ecoli infection. ) They said on went. his kidney numbers were very high and a little anemic. They felt he was having kidney disease complications. And said to come back for 3 more days of iv fluids. He wasnt eating and had to be force feed with special wet food from the vet for his kidneys. Unfortunately the vet never fed him and we were only getting a half of can a day in very sm. amounts down, he’d fight the feeding. Also he was peeing himself cause he was so weak. By Friday morning he had a seizure and when we got him to the vet they gave him oxygen and bloodwork and they said he was more anemia and and now the kidney numbers were higher than the tests are able to read and he was lathargic and peeing himself. So they suggested we put him down. They didn’t think he was getting better. Unfortunately it was the day after we let him go that the urine test came back and revealed that he had an extreme e coli infection in the urine. I am so disappointed they never treated for bladder infection I told them all along that’s what I thought was wrong. I just don’t know how he got a e coli infection. All he was eating toward the end was friskies prime filet cuts ckn and gravy. Water dish cleaned all the time indoor cat. I don’t get it. I’m so sad! And so frustrated were could he have gotten e coli??

      • OMG! the exact same thing just happened to my beloved bella and 2 other babies are sick!!!!!
        BBB
        FDA Reports coming who else!?
        This is wrong our beloved pets are being poisoned by eating!!!!!

  • I bought a bad of Friskies dry cat food two days ago and since then all three of my cats are throwing up after eating it! My dog got into their food bowl and she is throwing up toooooooooo!

  • I had used Friskies wet cat food for years with my cats now all 5 of them will not eat it. What happened to your cat food??? I give it to them and wind up throwing it away. Good by Friskies!!

    • I am having the same problems with Friskies canned for cats. They will not eat the salmon which they used to love, they won’t eat the turkey, they won’t eat almost any of it. These flavours are all the 5.5 Oz cans. I took one cat into vet and I come home today and my other cat is throwing up. I’m throwing away all my Friskies foods. Something bad is going on.

  • I’m writing about friskies can food. Since the change in labeling I have noticed the house cats ,barn cat and FERAL cats won’t eat it. I have used4 it forever but now they won’t eat it.!!!!!!! What is going on. If hungry feral cats refuse it what wrong. Does anybody have any insight as what’s going on. Help !!!!!!!

  • A co-worker befriended a feral cat at the University where we work. After a few months the cat suddenly became lethargic and vomited every time it ate. The cat was wasting away. He had the cat caught and put down by animal control. He was feeding the cat Friskies Flaked with Tuna and Egg. Best by date November 2019 lot number P3244161 L4437 1323. Long story short he gave me the remaining unopened cans of that food. The very first can I fed my cats they started showing the same symptoms and started vomiting after eating. I went back to the old food I was feeding mine and they recovered within three days. Something is very wrong with that flavor of Friskies food.

  • I have been using Friskies for years, but it appears that several of the products are not meeting the taste buds of my Siamese cat, 5 years old. She refused to eat Chunky Chicken and Turkey with garden greens, beef, chicken or Saucy Seafood bake. She scratches around the bowel to cover it up.

    She eats Science Diet chicken dry food and loves it. I give her just 1 heaping tsp. every other day of wet food. She hates pate foods which to me would be easier to lick. Some of the meats do look funny like the beef. Are you really using real meat, that is the question I have? Then I read below other owners are having complaints too, and pets won’t lie about the taste if they’re hungry.

  • Friskies has a significant quality control issue. Hundreds, possibly thousands of complaints of cats getting sick and Friskies denies any issue. Sadly this is a popular food due to price point and colony cats are fed this almost exclusively and they will be the ones least likely to receive medical care. Boycott Purina!!

  • Went into this site as it advertised information about a recall for Friskies 20 ounce Original Party Mix, but after reading about every Other product, Still NO information or Recall notifications for Friskies 20 ounce Original Party Mix! I guess some people have to vent.
    Same for coupon Venders who advertise they have coupons, but Never do!!

  • I’ve never heard anything good about Friskies since back into the 1970’s. I feed Whiskas dry cat food. My cats love it. I always have fed Whiskas and my cats have lived long, healthy lives with no diseases and no vets. I’m talking 20+ years here. Only used flea meds. Whiskas is cheap junk. You get what you pay for.

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